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David Thomas passes away

by RSrnYC 15 Oct 2014 17:17 BST 15 October 2014
David Thomas © David Harding / www.sailingscenes.com

Sailors will be saddened to hear of the death of David Thomas, a Member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club for over 25 years.

David was a very talented Yacht Designer, the designer of many good racers including the Sigma range, Hunter 707, Sonata, Impala, Chay Blyth's first BT Challenge Round the World boats, the ever popular Foxer and many, many more cruisers. David was also an excellent helmsman himself, in National 12's, Merlin Rockets and other dinghies including the "Unit", designed by David, which was a single handed high performance dinghy, in competition with other designs from other famous designers, worldwide, as a prospective International/Olympic class. David helmed in the competition, in which he did extremely well. He continued being a successful helmsman throughout his career, including in Olympic trials for the Soling Class. In keel boats David helmed a 12 metre, "Norsaga", leading to the America's Cup trials, and skippered various offshore and inshore keelboats, cruiser/racers, including the Sigma Class with many successes.

The Royal Southern Yacht Club was privileged to host the David Thomas Regatta and Dinner in May this year, an event that brought many sailors of David's designs to pay tribute, from as far away as Iceland and Germany as well as much closer to home. It was also a reunion for many of the top marine industry professionals who had been involved in building many of David's designs and David remarked how much he had enjoyed the evening and meeting so many old friends.

Over Dinner with David and his family, many tales were told and thanks given for so much sailing pleasure given by David's designs. It was remarked that he had the great talent of designing the kinds of boat that people wanted to buy at the time. It was also suggested that more British sailors had probably been conceived in the forepeak of one of David's boats than any other designer's. Judging from the fond smiles all round, that is probably right and the legacy sails on.

The Royal Southern Yacht Club Flag Officers and Members extend their condolences to Trudi and his family at this sad time. The RSrnYC Office will advise of the funeral arrangements at a later date.

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